Action - A2Z: The USAID Micronutrient and Child Blindness Project - Vitamin A supplementation - Preschool-age children (Pre-SAC)

Programme: A2Z: The USAID Micronutrient and Child Blindness Project

Programme description

A2Z: The USAID Micronutrient and Child Blindness Project consolidates, builds, and expands on USAID's long-term investment in micronutrients, child survival, and nutrition. A2Z takes proven interventions to scale, introduces innovation, expands services, and builds sustainable programs to increase the use of key micronutrient and blindness interventions to improve child and maternal health. With work in vitamin A supplementation of children, newborn vitamin A, food fortification, maternal and child anemia control, monitoring and evaluation, and health systems strengthening, A2Z's focus countries have included Bangladesh, Cambodia, the East, Central and Southern Africa region, India, Nepal, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda and West Bank.

Programme type




Start date:


End date:

All 119 districts in Tanzania
Target group: 
Preschool-age children (Pre-SAC)
Age group: 
6-59 months
Implementation details : 

While Tanzania has achieved high vitamin A supplementation coverage over the past few years, there is concern that this achievement is fragile because of decentralization. A2Z is supporting national, zonal, regional, and district health teams to institutionalize twice-yearly distributions through ongoing advocacy and routine planning and budgeting. This activity is conducted in collaboration with the National Program for Extension of Tools and Strategies, the Tanzania Essential Health Interventions Project, Ifakara Health Research and Development Centre, the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Center (TFNC), and UNICEF. To foster sustainable vitamin A supplementation, the A2Z project is supporting behavior change communication through community workers and a popular radio serial. Based on information gathered on sustainability indicators by TFNC with support of A2Z and HKI, those districts that have not yet integrated funding for vitamin A supplementation in their plans are receiving additional technical support. Several resources developed in Tanzania are available to ensure program sustainability.

Target population size : 
Those districts that have not yet integrated funding for vitamin A supplementation
Outcome indicator(s): 
  • Vulnerability score
  • Vulnerability rating
M&E system: 

Given the twice-yearly nature of the VAS program as well as its historic evolution from immunization campaigns, it is easy for district staff to see the program as separate from their regular day-to-day work. Considering the program to be part of the routine work for the district is critical for sustainability, and is reflected in both attitudes and the support provided to the program. Ninety-one (76%) of the 119 districts regarded implementation of the twice-yearly VAS and deworming program to be a routine activity. About 84% considered VAS and deworming a very important service, and 99% thought the service should continue. Although the majority of the districts viewed VAS/deworming as a routine activity, more than half (55%) had not yet included VAS/deworming services in their routine supervision checklist. Moreover, payment of allowances to staff for VAS/deworming while at their normal duty stations implies that these services were viewed as special rather than routine. The allowance scheme in particular, with an excessive number of supervisors at some distribution sites and inadequate supervision at other sites, may increase a district’s vulnerability to a decline in coverage. Overall, 11 districts (9%) were judged vulnerable with low sustainability related to supervision and monitoring

Outcome reported by social determinants: 
Vulnerable groups


Revision log

Thu, 10/08/2015 - 11:36ginaContribEdited by william_nkoom.published
Thu, 10/08/2015 - 11:36ginaContribEdited by william_nkoom.published